Itchy Rashes: Why You ShouldnÂ’t Scratch an Itch
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Itchy Rashes: Why You ShouldnÂ’t Scratch an Itch

At some point in time, most people will have a rash of some kind. The rash may be due to an infection or an allergic reaction. The reason that rashes feel very itchy is because the rash causes inflammation on the skin. The itching could be slight or it could be severe. When itching is severe, you will do almost anything to make it stop. DonÂ’t scratch!

At some point in time, most people will have a rash of some kind. The rash may be due to an infection or an allergic reaction. The reason that rashes feel very itchy is because the rash causes inflammation on the skin. The itching could be slight or it could be severe. When itching is severe, you will do almost anything to make it stop. Don’t scratch!

Scratching will only increase the inflammation and cause more itching. Just remember that itching begets itching, because scratching stimulates the nerve endings in the skin. In the brain gets a message when you scratch that there is something irritating it. In response, the immune system sends out histamine to the skin, which causes more inflammation and more itching.

Medical researchers believe that our brain sends a scratch reflex when it thinks something has landed on our skin. An example would be like when a mosquito lands on our skin, our brain will send us the reflex to scratch or swat it away. We aren’t always bitten by mosquitoes and insects. Sometimes we have a rash because of dermatitis and allergies. Even though we have the urge to scratch, we need to avoid scratching if at all possible, because scratching makes itching worse due to our immune response.

How to relieve an itchy rash without scratching

There are several OTC preparations to relieve itching from rashes. There is Benadryl cream, and oral Benadryl; there are also other types of antihistamines that might be helpful. There are also OTC hydrocortisone creams.  Ask your doctor or pharmacist which one would be best to treat your problem.

Other ways to relieve itching are using moisturizing lotions and creams. Eucerine is a very popular lotion, but there are many others such as Vaseline Intensive Care lotion and others. It’s best to use lotions that don’t have perfumed scents in them if your skin is already irritated. These non-medicated lotions may not get rid of the rash, but they may temporarily relieve itching.

If you have a chronic condition such as eczema, your doctor may suggest you use a colloidal preparation such as oatmeal in your bath water.

Another way to relieve itching is by applying a paste of baking soda to the itchy part. You may even want to take a bath in a tub full of water and baking soda.

The bottom line

You should consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you are concerned about your itchy rash. If your rash comes with a fever, and the fever lasts for more than 24 hours, you should consult with your physician. Likewise, if you notice other symptoms such as loss of appetite, or difficulty sleeping, see your doctor immediately. Your rash could be caused from a serious health condition.

Sources:

Itching

Resist scratching an itchy rash

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